Stillwater facility found negligent in resident’s death

ABC 5 Eyewitness News, Minneapolis, MN

A nursing staff member at a Stillwater nursing and assisted living facility is alleged to have blocked a resident’s lungs with a speaking valve, which prevented air intake and eventually led to the resident’s death, according to a state investigation. The Minnesota Department of Health found the facility, The Estates at Greeley, negligent in the resident’s death in part because it did not provide training for staff in the use of the speaking valve in conjunction with a tracheostomy, or a tube in a windpipe to assist in breathing. On June 12, 2017, the nursing staff member performed tracheostomy care on the resident and left the room, according to the report. That care was supposed to include deflating a cuff around the tracheostomy tube and placing the speaking valve on the tube’s hub. The nurse later told an MDH investigator she had forgotten to deflate the cuff, the report shows.

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